Mercy Flight campaign takes off with $500,000 Sands family and Constellation Brands donation.
CANANDAIGUA — Mercy Flight Central has given a new name to one of its helicopters, courtesy of a $500,000 investment from the Sands family and Constellation Brands.
The gift announcement was made by Rob Sands, president and CEO of Constellation Brands, at a private event Tuesday night in Canandaigua.
The gift will support advancements to aviation equipment, medical technology and staff training. The gift also puts the Canandaigua-based nonprofit medical aviation organization closer to its $4.5 million goal as part of its “Looking UP! Capital Campaign.”
The campaign is co-chaired by Ginny Clark, senior vice president, public affairs, Constellation Brands and Chris Ramsey, owner, Ramsey Constructors.
“The Sands family has been involved with Mercy Flight Central for more than two decades and my father Marvin was one of its first major benefactors,” Sands said in a prepared statement. “It’s a pleasure to continue the family tradition with this gift.”
Sands said his son, Mackenzie, was transported after an accident several years ago.
“This first-hand experience drove home the tremendous value of the service,” Sands said. “Mercy Flight Central is a vital part of the regional health care system and we are pleased to support them.”
Clark said her daughter, Shaunna, was airlifted to safety after a crash more than two decades ago. She credits her now grown daughter’s recovery to Mercy Flight.
“We are all so lucky to have Mercy Flight Central looking out for us when tragedy strikes,” Clark said in a statement. “When every minute counts, trust me, you can count on them.”
Mercy Flight Central Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bartkoski said $4.2 million has been raised in the capital campaign.
Mercy Flight, which has transported 14,000 patients since 1992, also operates from bases in Marcellus, Onondaga County, and Rome, Oneida County.